CFA Historical -Early Friends Families of Upper Bucks

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Chapman Family

While the Chapman family was not very prominently identified with the Friends Meeting at Richland, several members located in Upper Bucks quite early, and were identified with the affairs of the Friends colony there making it proper that some mention of them should be made in this narrative.

The pioneer ancestor of the Chapman family of Bucks County was John Chapman, a native of Stanghah, in the Parish of Skelton, Yorkshire, England, who, with his wife Jane and their five children, came to Pennsylvania in 1684. Having sailed in the Ship Shield from New Castle on the River Tyne, the arrived in Maryland on September 15, 1684, from which point they migrated overland to Bucks County, in the latter part of October. John Chapman was born at Stanghah in 1626 and, as early as 1656, was a convert to the principles and faith of Friends, suffering imprisonment and other persecutions for his religious principles. In 1660 he was confined in York Castle for eight weeks, for refusing to take a prescribed oath and at several times thereafter had goods seized for the payment of fines imposed for attending non-conformist meetings. He married, first, on 10 mo. 14, 1665, and had one daughter Ann, who died in childhood. His wife died 8 mo. 2, 1668, and he married, second, 4 mo. 12, 1670, Jane Sadler, of Lagenby, Yorkshire. To this marriage were born seven children, five at Stanghah, and two in Bucks County.

He had purchased, while a resident of Yorkshire, 500 acres of land, in the present township of Wrightstown, (then the extreme frontier of the English Settlement in Bucks County), including the site of the present Village and meeting house bearing that name, and located thereon immediately on his arrival. The family spent their first winter in Bucks County in a hastily constructed dugout, at a short distance west of the Durham Road at Wrightstown on the road leading to Penns Park, and here were born on 12 mo. (February) 12, 1684-84, the twins, Abraham and Joseph, who with their elder brother John, born in England, in 1678, represented the male portion of the family in the second generation. All of them, as well as many of their sons and grandsons, were prominently identified with public affairs in Bucks County, filling many important positions in the county and province.
ABRAHAM CHAPMAN, son of John and Jane Chapman, born at Wrightstown, 12 mo. 12, 1684-85, married in 1715 Susan Olden, daughter of William Olden of Bound Brook, New Jersey, and to them were born eight children, John, Abraham, John, Jane, Thomas, Benjamin, Elizabeth and Joseph.

JOHN CHAPMAN, son of Abraham and Susan (Olden) Chapman, born in February, 1720, was the first of the Chapman family to locate in Upper Bucks. The date of his arrival in upper Bucks County from Wrightstown is somewhat uncertain. He married about 1740, Mary Twining, born about 1720, daughter of Stephen and Margaret (Mitchell) Twining. Stephen Twining was born in Eastham, Mass., December 30, 1684, and came to Bucks County in 1695, with his parents Stephen and Abigail (Young) Twining. Stephen Twining, father of Mary Chapman, took up 500 acres of land in Springfield Township, near Springtown, in 1738, and erecting a mill thereon, lived there for a number of years, but finally returned to Wrightstown, where he died in 1772. John Chapman and Mary, his wife, either accompanied or followed her parents to Springfield Township, and resided there for several years. No certificate appears on the records of Richland Meeting, and it is therefore apparent that they arrived prior to the organization of the Monthly Meeting in 1743. On November 15, 1758, Stephen Twining and Margaret, his wife, conveyed to their son-in-law, John Chapman, 110 acres in Springfield adjoining the mill property and plantation of Twining and the land of Isaac Kirk and others. On February 20, 1761, John Chapman of Springfield, Esquire, and Mary his wife, conveyed 104 acres of this tract to Jacob Kockert. John Chapman, Jr., is then mentioned as an adjoining land owner, and probably had acquired the remaining 6 acres.

On 9 mo. 17, 1761, John Chapman and wife and several of their children were granted a certificate by Richland Monthly Meeting to Wrightstown. John Chapman evidently met with a violent or sudden death in Wrightstown in 1766. Letters of administration were granted on his estate to his widow, Mary, on January 17, 1767, Stephen Twining and John Mitchell becoming her sureties. The Inventory of his estate was made December 16, 1766, and amounted to £25 10s. The widow and administratrix filed her account March 14, 1768, and takes credit for the following items:-
"Paid William Doyle, Corner, 2 2s 0d."
"Paid Cadwallader Evan, Doctor, 3 8s 6d."

John Chapman being mentioned as "Esquire" in the deed of 1761,-it is evident that he was a Justice of the Peace at that date, it being the universal custom to so designate a justice. He is referred to in one instance as Surveyor, and probably followed that profession, as did many of his uncles and cousins.

Mary Chapman, the widow, survived her husband for thirty years, and died in Wrightstown in 1796. Her will dated 6 mo. 20, 1786, was probated 6 mo. 26, 1797. It makes her son James and nephew John Hilllborn executors, and names her sons James, Robert, Abraham and Charles, and daughters Elizabeth Black, Sarah Chapman, and Susanna Chapman, and granddaughters Mary and Margaret Ashton, and Agnes and Elizabeth Vance. Her two daughters Mary and Myra were evidently deceased. Mary had married 1 mo. 13, 1763, Thomas Ashton, and Myra had married in 1780 John Vance as shown by the records of Richland Monthly Meeting. There evidently was a son John, who married Hannah Antrim, 11 mo. 30, 1769. He was probably the John Chapman, Jr., referred to in the deed of 1761. His name does not appear on the records of Richland Meeting so far as we can learn, but on the minutes of the women's Meeting Hannah Chapman is granted a certificate of removal 10 mo. 17, 1773. Her destination is not given. But on 3 mo. 21, 1776, she brought her certificate back to Richland from Ohio, and on 7 mo. 18, 1778, took another certificate to some unnamed place. The History of the Twining Family states that John Chapman, Jr., removed to Kentucky. By deed dated June 10, 1781, James Chapman and Rebecca his wife, John Black and Elizabeth his wife, William Chapman and Sarah his wife, John Vance and Myra his wife, Charles Chapman and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Chapman, Susanna Chapman, Sarah Chapman, and Abraham Chapman, "all of Bucks County," conveyed to their mother their right of reversion in 50 acres of land in Springfield, devised to Mary by her father Stephen Twining for life and then to revert to her children. Little is known of any of these children excepting of James. None of the other children seem to have remained in Richland, although Myra Chapman brought a certificate to Richland in 1775, and was married there to John Vance in 1780, and Elizabeth Black also brought a certificate from Wrightstown to Richland in 1770. Charles Chapman lived and died in Wrightstown Township. He married Elizabeth Linton, in 1775, and left a number of children.

JAMES CHAPMAN, so of John and Mary (Twining) Chapman, born about 1740, was doubtless included in the certificate which his parents took from Richland to Wrightstown in 1761. He married at Burlington Meeting, New Jersey, about 1770, Rebecca Burr, daughter of Joseph and Ann Burr, of Burlington. Joseph Burr was, about that date, the purchaser of a large tract of land in Richland lying south of the borough of Quakertown, on which his son Robert settled, bringing a certificate from Richland in 1777. James Chapman brought a certificate from Philadelphia to Richland which was received 4 mo. 18, 1771. His wife Rebecca produced a certificate from Burlington Monthly Meeting in 11 mo., 1771. They probably settled for a time on part of her father's land in Lower Richland, but no deed appears of record to them. On February 22, 1787, James and Rebecca Chapman of Richland conveyed to John Lester 18 acres of land in that locality, adjoining land of Morris Morris and Abel Roberts, which James Chapman had mortgaged to the Land Office on January 31, 1776. James Chapman was a surveyor and scrivener. He evidently made many surveys in Upper Bucks and Northampton County and wrote most of the deeds and wills in that section during the period of his residence there, 1771-1820. He is either witness to or was named as executor of at least twenty-fibe wills between the years 1796 and 1820. He is given a special legacy as "friend" in the will of Joseph Erwin of Erwinna in 1803, and probably accompanied the testator and his father Arthur Erwin in their surveys of immense tracts of land in Bucks County and elsewhere in Pennsylvania and in Steuben County, New York. Shortly prior to his death, James Chapman and his wife removed, with their daughter Elizabeth Iden and her husband, to Buckingham and located on a farm adjoining the village of Mechanicsville, where he died in 1821, leaving a will dated December 2, 1820, which was probated August 20, 1821, in which he directs that all his real and personal estate be sold and the proceeds invested in mortgages, the interest thereon to be paid to his widow for life, with the right to use the principal if necessary for her support. After her death the residue was to be equally divided between his daughters Elizabeth Iden and Abigail Chapman, and his granddaughter Julia Maria Chapman. His will states:- "have advanced to my son John Chapman his full share, therefore cannot give him anything." The inventory of his estate includes an order on the Treasurer of Bucks County for $185 and over $6,000 in bonds. The date of death of his widow has not been ascertained. His daughter Abigail never married and died at an advanced age in Buckingham about 1856. On the birth records of Richland Meeting appear the birth of there children of James and Rebecca (Burr) Chapman, viz.-
Jacob Abbot, b. 2-19-1773
Elizabeth, b. 9- 8-1776; m. Samuel Iden.
Abigail, b. 12-31-1779


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